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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE                       _

conscious of making a party together in a hollow,
on an island; had their common cause against
that fluidity out there. Mrs. Ramsay, who had
been uneasy, waiting for Paul and Minta to come
in, and unable, she felt, to settle to things, now
felt her uneasiness changed to expectation. For
now they must come, and Lily Briscoe, trying to
analyse the cause of the sudden exhilaration,
compared it with that moment on the tennis lawn,
when solidity suddenly vanished, and such vast
spaces lay between them; and now the same
effect was got by the many candles in the sparely
furnished room, and the uncurtained windows,
and the bright mask-like look of faces seen by
candlelight. Some weight was taken off them;
anything might happen, she felt. They must
come now, Mrs. Ramsay thought, looking at the
door, and at that instant, Minta Doyle, Paul
Rayley, and a maid carrying a great dish in her
hands came in together. They were awfully late;
they were horribly late, Minta said, as they found
their way to different ends of the table.

" I lost my brooch  my grandmother's
brooch," said Minta with a sound of lamentation
in her voice, and a suffusion in her large brown
eyes, looking down, looking up, as she sat by
Mr. Ramsay, which roused his chivalry so that
he bantered her,